REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, DENPASAR -- A number of foreign cruise ships, carrying thousands of passengers, are stopping by at the Benoa Harbor in Bali, ahead of Nyepi (Hindu Day of Silence). It indicates Indonesia has regained the trust of the international community on Bali tourism after Mount Agung's eruption, the state-owned port operator PT Pelindo III of Benoa General Manager I Wayan Eka Saputra said in Denpasar on Tuesday.
MV Seabourn Encore is scheduled to stop by at the Benoa Harbor on Tuesday, followed by MS Europa 2, with Malta flag, on Wednesday (March 14). The 210-meter-long MV Seabourn Encore, registered in the Bahamas, has a capacity of 600 passengers, while the 225-meter-long MS Europa 2 has a capacity of 500 passengers.
The last cruise ship to stop by at the Benoa Harbor before its closing for the Nyepi is the Costa Luminosa from Italy.
The ship, which is 294 meters long and with a total capacity of 2.8 thousand passengers, will stop by on Thursday (March 15).
The passengers of these cruise ships are scheduled to have a short vacation in Bali, under the guidance of local travel agents.
"Their journey has been scheduled since long, and the agents know the conditions at the port ahead of Nyepi Day, because this annual agenda and its scheduled arrangement were done a year back," Saputra revealed.
In March 2018, a total of 13 cruise ships are expected to dock at the Benoa Harbor, with an estimated 10 thousand passengers.
Most of the ships that enter the port are luxury ships with the flags of Bahamas, Malta, and the United Kingdom.
This year, Pelindo III Benoa targets to serve around 80 cruise ships planning to stop by in Bali.
Last year, as many as 74 cruise ships were initially scheduled to stop by at the Benoa Port, but due to the increasing volcanic activity of Mount Agung at the end of 2017, four ships canceled their agenda to stop over in the island.